Thursday, 22nd February 2024

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The men’s professional volleyball OK Financial Group is determined to continue its momentum of winning the fourth round.

OK Financial Group is currently ranked fourth with 14 wins and 10 losses (39 points). It is five points shorter than the leader Woori Card (15 wins and nine losses and 44 points). It has accumulated points by winning all six rounds. It has elevated team atmosphere by beating Korean Air, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Korea Electric Power, Woori Card, KB Insurance and Hyundai Capital in turn. OK Financial Group, which lost 0-3 in all the first and third rounds to Korean Air, won 3-0 in the fourth round to win its first game against the rival team this season.

The biggest change in OK Financial Group is how to use foreign player Leonardo Leiva Martinez (registered name Leo).

In the meantime, OK Financial Group has used Leo as an apogit. Recently, however, Cha Ji-hwan returned after a knee injury, and Leo regained his position as an outside heater. Shin Ho-jin is increasing his team’s contribution with receiving apogit. When Cha Ji-hwan’s reception is shaky, veteran Song Hee-chae is deployed to balance it.

Despite some setters’ injuries, Kwak Myung-woo is again leading the on-court team as the first setter. The on-court leader, Libero Bu Yong-chan, also shines. In the middle blocker, Bayarsaihan, who was selected as the Asian quarter, is at the center, while Park Won-bin, Jin Sang-hun, and Park Chang-sung, who joined after being discharged from the military in November last year, are showing even better performances.

Coach Oh Gi-no Masahiro, who is newly at the helm of OK Financial Group ahead of the 2023-24 season, is emphasizing the blocking-digging system. The counterattack has become fierce since the recent defense. Leo is taking the finish line.

50% attack proportion ↑ Ace Leo laughs

OK Financial Group increased Leo’s share of attacks in the fourth round. Ironically, Leo’s attack success rate has also increased. His attack possession rate averaged 50.15 percent in six games in the fourth round. He recorded 37.68 percent in the first game of the fourth round against Korean Air, but 56.25 percent in the game against KB Insurance, the most of his attacks in this season.

Leo also had 77 percent of the offense share in a game during the 2013-14 season when he was with the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance on Dec. 30, 2014. Leo has the most offense share in his sixth year in the V-League.

Leo enjoys high possession rate. “I personally like high possession rate. Not only me but also other players on the team can handle difficult situations. I think winning the team is more important than possession rate,” Leo once said.

Leo is displaying strong decision-making power despite his high proportion of attacks. Ogino hopes Leo will grow technically. “Leo is good at attacking. He is also mixing up paint attacks. Up to now, he used to watch games with power, but now he has more options depending on the situation. Leo said that he scored the same point for paint attacks. Leo seems to understand this well,” he said, citing Leo as the driving force behind his team’s advancement.

Leo is also trying to defend himself as Ogino and Kiyoshi Abo have advised. Leo said, “When we train, we analyze the opponent team and practice together through simulations on how the opponent team will play. In the process, I have advice from my coaches and coaches. The opposing team usually tries to block cross, which is my main offensive course. They give me advice on how to deal with a traffic jam. They tell me how to hit the straight line and which zone to attack the paint,” Leo expressed his satisfaction.

Leo was also named the fourth round MVP as his team gained momentum. He is the eighth round MVP in the V-League.

Ogino praised Leo’s attack success rate and his players’ effective floater serve. Will he be able to continue his momentum in 12 games in the fifth and sixth rounds.

OK Financial Group Looking at 4th place or higher in the regular league

OK Financial Group went downhill after becoming the champion in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. It had to finish the season by ranking seventh, seventh, fifth, fourth, fourth, fifth, and fifth. This season, it will look beyond the fourth place, which was its highest ranking since the last championship. It is targeting the first spring volleyball tournament in three years after the 2020-21 season.

OK Financial Group entered the All-Star break after the final game of the fourth round against Hyundai Capital on the 17th. The first game of the fifth round will be held on February 2. The opponent is Hyundai Capital.

The All-Star break is a time to reorganize the team.

Coach Ogino also said, “In the case of pipes, Leo has a high RBI, so he has to fly it at this level, and in the case of other outside heaters, it is necessary to shoot it with one or two balls lower. It is difficult to correct the details right now, but we will correct them during the All-Star break.”

“There are things to modify and supplement not only for pipes, but also for pattern play and passes,” he said.

OK Financial Group is gradually showing off its teamwork in its first season with head coach Oh Gi-no. When he was appointed as the head coach of OK Financial Group, Oh Gi-no said, “My goal is to win by setting a high goal. My goal is to advance to the playoffs right now.” OK Financial Group, which is also the winner of the 2023 KOVO Cup, has predicted a positive change and a change in the perception of the chaotic men’s team.


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